By Dana Darley Daily
Photos by Madeline Mullenbach
Jewelry provided by Davis Jewelers
The VOICE team was fortunate to spend time with Fawn Weaver of Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey. Weaver’s most contagious laugh and genuine smile immediately make you feel energized and encouraged. We dove behind the woman to find out what fuels her positivity, motivation and success.
In addition to the work she is doing at the distillery to set up generations of successful leaders, she is working diligently to set up success for females and people of color in business through her philanthropic efforts with the Nearest Green Foundation/Nearest Green Legacy Scholarship. It’s safe to say she’s crushing goals and well on her way to leaving her own legacy.
I love your perspective on the highest and best use of time (HBU). Can you tell us more about that and how it has transformed your life?
I don’t know if I would say HBU has transformed my life because it’s literally how I live. If it’s not my highest and best use of time, it’s a no. Many people reach out to me and ask, can I just get five minutes of your time? Can I have 10 minutes of your time? Can I have 15 minutes of your time? And for them, it’s not a big ask, but for me, if it’s not my highest and best use of time, meaning that it’s mutually beneficial, then I am not going to do it. Because we are a people-pleasing society, many people have a tough time saying no. Then they end up being stressed out, miserable and not really enjoying something they should be because they are so busy doing something that is not their highest and best use of time. I love what I do. Thanks to those boundaries, I can do 100 cities in 100 days for this filming.
Who has inspired you as a female leader?
Do you know what’s really interesting? I don’t really look to the outside if that makes sense. I have always been innate in how I look. I read a ton of books on people that have succeeded, and I try not to make the mistakes they clearly pointed out. It’s a Warren Buffet thing; he says people always say that the greatest teacher is your own mistakes, but he thinks the greatest teacher is other people’s mistakes. I try to look at those that have not only created success in a current moment but have done it over time. I’m not interested in what is happening right now. Only for how this looks 200 years from now when 10 generations have come after me. Did I set this company up to ensure that it sustains for that long and is still growing?
What piece of advice do you wish you knew sooner?
Go with your gut. My God, go with your gut! Everybody will give you ideas of how you should do things, but as women and people of color, this country was not built for us. Don’t get me wrong, it’s the greatest nation in the world. I believe it, I honor it and would not want to be anywhere else, but we have to understand it wasn’t built for us, which means the blueprints of success that everyone laid down are not for us. We have to create our own, which will come from us internally. That’s going to come from our gut. We know what we need to do and what we should do. If we stop looking to somebody else as our guru, look inside ourselves and listen to our gut, it’s through the roof what we can achieve. I appreciate that people look up to me, but I want them to look up to me only to point them back to themselves and say everything you need is not in me. It’s actually inside of you.
Any fun facts we may not know about the brand or the distillery?
This month we will be opening our new bar facility, the world’s longest bar, in our distillery. The current Guinness Book of World Record bar length is 358 linear feet, our bar clocks in at 505 linear feet. It will take people a long time to go from one end to the other because our entire bar, a concept designed by Death and Co., wraps around a state-of-the-art stage with high-tech AV. We brought in the person that built the sound and lighting for Paisley Park for Prince. My only request was to build it for Garth Brooks because if you build it for Garth, you cover everybody’s rider. After all, nobody has a rider that will be as explicit as his. He’s been selling out concerts for longer than everybody else! Now, when it opens, every concert and show will be incredible because of the sound system and how they can stream into the space.
Nearest Green Distillery
3125 US-231 North
Shelbyville, TN 37160